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Alcoholic Autumn Drinks/Cocktails Holidays Recipes Thanksgiving

Drink up! Low calorie Thanksgiving cocktails

Mouthwatering Thanksgiving turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy and pumpkin pie might satisfy our test buds, but holiday meals can wreak havoc on our waistlines. Thankfully, we have some low calorie Thanksgiving cocktails courtesy of Amoretti for those who want to imbibe for 165 calories or less!

The Sip and Fall cocktail (Media/Credit: Amoretti)
The Sip and Fall cocktail (Media/Credit: Amoretti)

Sip and Fall

Ingredients

1 oz. watermelon vodka

1 oz. Amoretti Premium Sour Apple Martini Mix

3 oz. club soda

Directions

Combine the vodka and martini mix in a glass, add ice and top with club soda. Garnish with a green apple slice (optional).

Calories: 98

The A-pear-ently Apple cocktail. (Media/Credit Amoretti)
The A-pear-ently Apple cocktail (Media/Credit: Amoretti)

A-pear-ently Apple

Ingredients

1 oz. Amoretti Premium Pear Martini Mix

12 oz. (1 bottle) low calorie hard cider (Amoretti recommends Magners Irish Hard Cider, Crispin Original or Michelob ULTRA Light Cider)

Directions

Gently combine both ingredients in a tall glass. Garnish with a pear wheel (optional).

Calories: 165

 

 

Mango You Didn’t!

Mango You Didn't!
The Mango You Didn’t! cocktail (Media/Credit: Amoretti) 

 

Ingredients

2 oz. Amoretti Premium Cosmopolitan Martini Mix

1 oz. mango nectar

6 oz. club soda

Directions

Gently combine all ingredients in a glass and fill with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel (optional).

Calories: 115

Ginger Winter
The Ginger Winter cocktail (Media/Credit: Amoretti) 

 

Ginger Winter

Ingredients

½ pump Amoretti Premium Gingerbread Syrup

½ oz. Amoretti Premium Pomegranate Martini Mix

4-6 oz. nonalcoholic sparkling apple cider

Directions

Gently combine the gingerbread syrup and pomegranate martini mix in the bottom of a champagne flute. Fill with the sparkling cider. Garnish with a thin apple slice (optional).

Calories: 103

Categories
Holidays Restaurants

Red’s Restaurant and Lounge Celebrates St. Patty’s Day with a Menu Homage to Coach Red Auerbach

958f2c0bac2c05300c574553ba4a3947Former Celtic’s coash Red Auerbach already serves as the namesake for Red’s Restaurant and Lounge located at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel and now the eatery is honoring him even more.

This St. Patrick’s Day, Red’s Restaurant and Lounge will have a specialty menu with an Irish theme that is accompanied by the live entertainment of The Familiars of Cape Cod.

Led by Executive Chef Daniel Kenney, the restaurant will offer its patrons a slight American-Cape touch to the Irish cuisine that includes A Tasting of Ireland’s Best Cheeses Served with Clover Honey and Toast, All-Day-Cooked Corned Beef, Tender Cabbage, Local Roots, and Guinness Broth, and Bailey’s Irish Cream Crème Brule with Toasted Almond Macaroon.

With an a la carte menu that represents Red Auerbach and his local pride, the restaurant will put on this special St. Patrick’s Day menu March 15, 16, and 17th.

Categories
Food and Health Healthy Options Holidays Meals

6 Mental Tricks to Avoid Gaining Weight this Holiday Season

holiday-diet-tipsBoston, MA (November 2013)- The holiday season is upon us, which usually means that an extra 5-7 pounds are upon us as well. Delicious food, cold weather, less sunlight, and plenty of parties make it hard to say no to seconds during the holidays.  If there is food nearby, most of us can make an excuse as to why we should eat it.

Gary Marino, who produced and starred in the film Million Calorie March: The Movie, which chronicles his walk from Florida to Boston raise awareness about obesity says, “I used to be the master of holiday buffet excuses.” At his heaviest, he topped the scales at almost 400 pounds. “For me, the holidays provided a perfect excuse to wave the white flag and roll the dice on a successful New Year’s resolution—and that’s still the case for a lot of people.”

Although the New Year serves as a new start for many, Marino says, “we have a 95 percent failure rate on long-term weight loss in this country. The truth is, most of our resolutions will have shaved their heads and checked into rehab Britney Spears-style by the end of February.”

Why is it so hard to avoid falling into this holiday eating/gaining/New Year resoluting trap? Retired psychologist Dr. Howard Rankin says, “we can always find a reason for procrastinating and avoiding doing what we consider difficult or unpleasant.” For him, it boils down to a matter of basic human psychology. “Humans aren’t logical. Instead, we’re emotional, psychological beings…with an emphasis on the ‘psycho.’ Fortunately, when you know beforehand the pitfalls into which your pleasure-driven brain might cause you to fall, your odds of avoiding them improve.”

Dr. Rankin’s five-stage motivation model might further explain this behavior.

  1. 1.    Pre-Contemplation. The person does not acknowledge the need for change. This can also be called denial.
  2. 2.    Contemplation. The person recognizes the need to change, but makes no commitment to make it happen.
  3. 3.    Preparation. The person gets ready for change.
  4. 4.    Action. The person finally takes steps toward changing.
  5. 5.    Maintenance. The person continues the action steps to develop and preserve the changes.

Many people make it to stage 5 during the holidays, but if they start to allow excuses and rationalizations for unhealthy holiday behavior in, they are in danger of never succeeding with their resolutions.

Watch out for the following rationalizations to keep yourself and your resolutions on track this year:

  1. 1.    “I Can’t Be Rude or Unsociable.” Yes it is true that some people place high value on the food they make for the holidays. If you are going to hurt someone’s feelings by not sampling their cake, then you can make the decision to try it. Just be more cautious about eating other food. You can still be sociable even if you are not piling your plate with unhealthy food.
  2. 2.    “I Can Hide It.” Winter clothes are baggier than styles from other seasons. Just because you have more room inside your sweater, however, does not mean that you should use it with those extra pounds.
  3. 3.    “Winter is Coming.” A lot of people shy away from exercising during the winter because of the cold and dark days. Instead of talking yourself out of exercise, though, you should make an effort to find an alternative method to stay active. Maybe you can’t swim laps outside (unless the pool is heated), but you can pop in a fitness DVD and work out in your living room.
  4. 4.    I’ll Wait ‘til the New Year.” The year is almost over, right? Why not wait until 2013 changes to 2014 to start a new healthy eating regiment? As Marino explains, “food addiction doesn’t have a calendar. And the problem with a diet that starts on January 1st is January 2nd. Grab inspiration any time you can get it.” Instead of setting yourself up for failure, start incorporating healthy habits into your life now.
  5. 5.    “I’m Too Busy Right Now.” If you let it, it is easy to get overtaken by your holiday to-do list and make excuses for those things that you do not really want to do. If you make health a priority, however, you will always find time for it.
  6. 6.    “I’ll Be Cooking.” Being surrounding by unhealthy holiday food is not the best way to start eating better, but there are ways that you can still make smart food choices even as you bake sugar cookies for the kids. Only buy enough food for your needs and donate the rest. Marino says, “you have to stay aware and stay in the fight. You know what giving up is like. Many of us have lived it, and it’s no fun there. Fortunately, with mindfulness and motivation, you don’t ever have to go back.”
Categories
Featured Recipes Holidays Meals Recipes

Try this Greek Pumpkin Risotto Just in Time for the Holiday Season

This delicious fall-twist on risotto, courtesy of Priscilla Claman of Career Strategies, Inc., is the perfect seasonal meal for almost any occasion. In between helping job seekers update their career searches, Priscilla is on the hunt for recipes that are quick, simple, and utterly delicious. Check out the recipe she shared below to fill your table with plenty of fall flavors.

AI0206-1_Baked-Pumpkin-Risotto_s4x3_lg 

Ingredients:

*2 leeks (the white part and 2.5 cm from the green part) well-washed and cut into thin slices

*1/3 cup. olive oil

*1-3 teaspoon Halep pepper or boukovo

*2 large garlic cloves, chopped

*750 gr. pumpkin red (or the pulp of a big green one), peeled and seeded, cut into cubes of 1 cm
½ cup.

*3 cups of dry white wine

*1 ½ cups chicken stock, without fat or water

*Arborio rice or Thrace ” Mylelia ”

*salt and freshly ground black pepper, as desired

*
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

*2/3 cup fresh coriander, chopped

 

Procedure:

1. In a large pan or a wide pot, heat the oil and sauté the leeks for 6-8 minutes, until softened.

 

2. We add the pepper, the garlic and the pumpkin. We saute all the ingredients together for 10-15 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated.

 

3. Add the wine and stir a few times.

 

4. Add about ½ cup of water and reduce the heat. Allow the pumpkin to simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until tender.
(Up to this point the food can be prepared several hours earlier).

 

5. Twenty minutes before serving, put the broth in a pot to simmer on very low heat.

 

6. Heat the pumpkin mixture and as it starts to boil, then add the rice, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to lubricate it.

 

7. Add about ½ cup of the hot broth and let it simmer, stirring constantly and adding per ½ cup broth as it is absorbed by the rice.

 

8. After about 15 minutes, taste the rice, which should be al dente.

 

9. Add salt and black pepper.

10. Remove the risotto from the heat and add the cheese, stirring well.
Serve the risotto into warmed soup dishes, sprinkled with cilantro.

 

Serve this dish on a cool, crisp fall evening to add some warmth to you table or while you try out some of Pricilla Claman’s advice about updating your job post. 

Categories
Autumn Drinks/Cocktails Featured Recipes Recipes

Warm Up this Winter with these Tasty Rum Cocktails

If you thought rum was something only to be used in a frozen summer cocktail – think again! Boston bartenders are mixing up some great fall cocktails with rum. In-season apples help to keep cocktails fresh for fall days, the earthy cinnamon notes help keep you warm during the brisk fall nights, and the dry flavors of Brugal Extra Dry Rum and Brugal 1888 Rum allow all of the delicious autumn flavors to shine through.

To get in the fall spirit, mix up the “Dominican Old Fashioned” created by Kevin Martin of Eastern Standard or the “Old Orchard Style” created by John Henderson of Tavern Road (recipes below).

Dominican Old Fashioned
Created by Kevin Martin, Eastern Standard Dominican Old Fashioned (credit Emmanuel Cayere)

1.5 oz. Brugal Extra Dry Rum
.5 oz. Santa Maria Al Monte
1 Barspoon St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
1 Barspoon Sugar
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
2 Dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

In a mixing glass combine sugar, Angostura, Peychaud’s with a splash (.25oz) of soda water, stir to make a paste.  Add Brugal Rum, Santa Maria Al Monte and Dram with ice, stir until properly diluted and chilled.  Strain cocktail into a chilled lowball over fresh ice, garnish with a long orange twist.

Old Orchard Style

Created by John Henderson, Tavern Road

2 oz. Brugal 1888 Rum

.25 oz. Demerara Syrup (2:1 Demerara or raw sugar to water)

1/8 of Granny Smith Apple

1/8 oz. Allspice DramOld Orchard Style4 (credit Emmanuel Cayere)

Muddle apple in a mixing glass, add other ingredients and stir with ice until well-chilled. Fine strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass, top with freshly grated cinnamon and a thin slice of apple.

Categories
Alcoholic Autumn Boston Restaurants Drinks/Cocktails Featured Recipes Holidays

The Voodoo Child: a Halloween cocktail with a kick

Just in time for Halloween, Boston’s Salvatore’s Restaurant is offering a creepy new cocktail: the Voodoo Child ($10). The concoction is available at all four Salvatore’s Restaurant locations through November, or you can make it yourself…if you dare.

Voodoo Child

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz. Kraken Spiced Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Bacardi White Rum
  • 1/2 oz. St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Bitters
  • 1 Dash of Hot Sauce (6 shakes)

Directions

Shake all ingredients and pour over ice. Garnish with lime slice dipped in cinnamon sugar.

Categories
Appetizers Asian Autumn Boston Restaurants Origins Recipe Sources Recipes

China Blossom Pumpkin Dumplings

This recipe is from David Yee, General Manager at China Blossom Restaurant & Lounge in Andover. Adding a traditional fall flavor to this classic Chinese dish results in pure pumpkin perfection. These dumplings are easy to whip up on a weeknight and fancy enough to serve at a special event.

Pumpkin Dumpling Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg

Cooking Instructions
1. In a small bowl, mix egg and pumpkin puree. Beat in flour, a little at a time, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add nutmeg and stir to incorporate.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place several tablespoons of the dough on a cutting board and spreading until it is ¼ of an inch thick.

3. Slice ¼-inch-thick and 3-inch-long strips and drop into boiling water. The dumplings will take shape as they hit the water.

4. As the dumplings rise to the surface, cook another minute and then remove from water with a slotted spoon. Place cooked dumplings into a bowl of ice water, then drain.

5. Before serving, sauté dumplings in butter and season with salt and pepper.

Categories
Alcoholic Autumn Boston Restaurants Drinks/Cocktails Featured Recipes Recipe Sources Recipes

New, sophisticated fall cocktails from Boston’s Beehive

The Beehive, a favorite Boston jazz spot, introduces two new fall cocktails to its menu: the Janie Jones ($12) and the Flying Dutchman Martini ($12). Both drinks are made with Aperol, an Italian spirit with flavors of orange, rhubarb and herbs. Sip these sophisticated concoctions at the ‘hive or impress your friends at home, using the recipes below.

Janie Jones

Janie Jones

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Hendricks Gin
  • 1 oz. Canton Ginger Liquor
  • ½ oz. Aperol
  • ½ oz. Lemon Juice

Directions

Shake and serve on the rocks in a double rock glass. Garnish with a Lemon Twist.

Flying Dutchman Martini

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. Bols Genever
  • 1 oz. Lillet Blanc
  • ¾ oz. Luxardo Liquor
  • ½ oz. Aperol
  • Dash Lemon Juice
  • Dash Simple Syrup

Directions

Shake on the rocks, strain and serve in a martini glass. Top with Sparkling Wine.


Categories
Alcoholic Autumn Boston Restaurants Drinks/Cocktails Featured Recipes

Beacon Hill Bistro’s ‘Back to the ABCs’ fall cocktail

School is back in session and fall is in the air. Celebrate the season with Beacon Hill Bistro’s “Back to the ABCs” cocktail, a blend of autumnal apple, bourbon and cranberry. The cocktail is available at the Bistro for a limited time, but read on for the recipe so you can shake it up yourself.

Recipe

  • Apple Caramel Simple Syrup
  • 4 oz. Bourbon
  • Dash of Cranberry Bitters
  • Splash of Lemon Juice

Directions

Shake, strain and serve up. Garnish with cranberries.

Categories
Entree/Dinner Holidays Italian Meals Origins Pork

Holiday Porchetta with Fennel Gratin

An Italian tradition, Porchetta makes an impressive and surprisingly easy centerpiece for your holiday meal when it comes to preparation. From using an entire pig, to roast loin, or if you choose to use pork belly; this savory dish varies from region to region in Italy. Below you’ll find my recipe using pork belly. Using pork belly creates a beautiful crisp skin and a moist center of perfectly cooked and seasoned meat. The ease in preparation is amplified when you realize that it is almost “idiot proof” when it comes to cooking. The dish continues to become more tender as it is slowly cooked over time. Be sure to let the roast rest for 10-15 minutes.

Porchetta Ingredients

  • 1 pork belly 5 lbs.
  • 8 rosemary sprigs
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 2 tbsp. cracked fennel seeds
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 white onion, coarsely chopped,
  • 2 chopped fennel tops

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°
  2. Lay pork belly fat side down. Season the pork with salt, fennel seed, 4 cloves minced garlic, chopped rosemary, lemon zest and cracked black pepper mead side up.
  3. Roll the pork up and tie securely with butcher’s twine. Season the exterior of the pork with salt and drizzle a bit of the olive oil over the loin.
  4. Place the chopped vegetables (remaining garlic, rosemary, onion, and fennel tops) in a roasting pan and set the loin over top. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
  5. Lower the heat to 325° and roast for approx. 2-3 hours or until the meat registers 145° on a meat thermometer.

Fennel Gratin Ingredients

  • 3 heads fennel, quartered
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 bunch of parsley chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • milk
  • butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigianino
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • olive oil
  • salt

Instructions

  1. Saute the white onion in a pan over medium heat with the olive oil until softened and translucent –about 10 minutes.
  2.  Place the fennel , onion and garlic in a roasting pan and add enough milk to come up about halfway on the fennel.
  3. Combine the parsley, breadcrumbs, and Parmigianino in a bowl and sprinkle over the fennel.
  4. “Dot” the gratin with a few cubes of butter and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the fennel is tender and the crumbs are golden brown.
  5. Plate and serve with Porchetta.